Artemis Fresh Mix Dry Dog Food gets the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Artemis Fresh Mix product line includes eight dry dog foods. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Artemis Fresh Mix Adult
- Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Adult
- Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Puppy
- Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Senior
- Artemis Fresh Mix Maximal Dog (5 stars)
- Artemis Fresh Mix Medium/Large Breed Puppy
- Artemis Fresh Mix Weight Management (3 stars)
- Artemis Fresh Mix Medium/Large Breed Senior (3 stars)
Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Adult was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey, fish meal, barley, brown rice, rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, millet, potatoes, egg product, tomato pomace, duck, salmon, flaxseed, flavor enhancer, salmon oil (a source of dha), choline chloride, dried chicory root, dried skim milk, kelp, carrots, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, pea powder, green tea extract, barley grass extract, l-carnitine, Enterococcus faecieum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this product lists chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is turkey. Like chicken, turkey consists mostly of water. So, it is subject to the same moisture loss after cooking. After processing, this item would occupy a lower relative position on the list.
The fourth ingredient includes fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The fifth ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The sixth item lists brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient mentions rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The eighth ingredient includes chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The ninth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The tenth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With four notable exceptions…
First, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
Then, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Artemis Fresh Mix Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Artemis Fresh Mix appears to be an above-average dry dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Artemis Fresh Mix dry dog food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Due to their apparent lower meat content, we have downgraded the ratings of the Weight Management and Medium/Large Breed Senior formulas to just three stars.
Those looking for a wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Artemis Fresh Mix canned dog food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
03/25/2010 Original review
10/25/2010 Review updated
07/26/2012 Review updated
02/08/2014 Last Update